A member of the Democratic Alliance and Midvaal worker Dricky Kriel got herself in a fresh case of alleged racism and abuse of a subordinate colleague
The white female Ward 9 card-carrying member and employee of a DA-led Midvaal Local municipality, allegedly called her coloured subordinate a k****r and spat in the face of her colleague whose name is Jerome Koeithing.
The DA-led Midvaal Local Municipality has been accused of failing to take disciplinary action against the card carrying member for her derogatory and inhumane actions against the colored subordinate.
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Jerome Koeithing, 37, who was employed by the municipality, formally lodged a complaint against his superintendent, Dricky Kriel, on June 20, after the intervention of the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu), which has threatened to bring the municipality to a standstill unless action is taken against Kriel.
According to a letter seen by The Citizen and acknowledged by the municipal human resources department on June 23, Kriel questioned Koeithing for having offered black children at the informal settlement food.
The letter further stated that when Koeithing answered, that she told him not to speak “kak” and that she will not listen to “a k****r”, as this was not “Rwanda or Ethiopia where black people suffer and are poor; we should not feed black children from Sicelo because they do not deserve the food”.
A similar incident happened on June 15, when she questioned Koeithing for taking a day off. She apparently “spat in his face” and told him he was a “k****r”.
Kriel’s exact words in Afrikaans were: “Ek gee nie om nie vir ‘n kleinhare-man” (I don’t care about men with short hair).
When approached for comment, Kriel said she was not aware of such allegations and “cannot comment on anything like that”.
Koeithing on the other hand, declined to comment and referred all questions to the the SA Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu).
Samwu’s shop steward, Lucky Nhlapo in return said the municipality only accepted Koeithing’s formal grievance after pressure from the union, during a protest involving 500 employees, who cited issues of racism and salary grading.
“As a union, we want justice to take place. If they do not fire her, all workers will down tools until action has been taken against her. They have undermined and insulted us for too long. Enough is enough. If the municipality was doing things the right way, this could have been prevented,” said Nhlapo.
After much inquiry, the Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi urged Koeithing to report the matter to the Human Rights Commission promising that Kriel would be “suspended pending the outcome of the investigation”.
“On June 22, we had a meeting with our staff and encouraged them to report any incidents of racism as we condemn it and want to deal with it decisively.
“We are encouraged by the trust our employees are showing in us by immediately reporting this incident a day after our meeting. We are going to immediately investigate this incident and take decisive action. We will announce the steps to be taken on [the past] Monday afternoon,” he said.
Meanwhile, the municipal spokesperson, Aaliyah Dangor said on Monday that the Midvaal worker, Ms Kriel has been booked off sick until Wednesday [today] this week, so action can only be taken after she returns.
However, DA’s leader Mmusi Maimane said he has made contact with Baloyi regarding the matter, and condemned the act. But he requested proof of the incident as the incident is bound to be investigated and sanctions given to offenders.